UPDATE: I wanted to add a few quotes real quick from a WEEI article. O’Neal explains that he had the chance to return to Miami, but liked his chances better in Boston.
“I knew what they were trying to do, and I could have re-signed back with those guys, but it comes down to fit,” O’Neal said. “It comes down to personalities and style of play, and Boston has all that for me. It was the most important choice that I’ve made in my career.
“Obviously they have a great tandem down there, but I feel like this team has the best team. … I had a great time down in Miami, I had an opportunity to re-sign back with them, but I just thought that this is where I’m meant to be.”
O’Neal said that he liked the Celtics’ powerhouse over the potential one Miami would eventually form based on the way Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have proven their ability to work together.
“Those guys, they have a ring already, but they want another one,” O’Neal said. “I don’t have a ring and I want one, so I felt like their hunger and their focus is at a different level. There were some other good teams out there that i really looked at that i thought could compete for the championship, but threes guys just came off an NBA finals appearance and obviously they’ve won one, so they know what it takes to get there.”
Jermaine O’Neal is officially a member of the Boston Celtics! Here is a quick press conference that was held for O’Neal earlier today. Enjoy.
Also the Boston Globe highlighted some of the notes from the pres conference:
On why he chose Boston:
Obviously I’ve had a lot of great years meeting against these guys. I know what this city represents. I know what this organization represents. I know what the guys on that court represent. When I was making my decision, the conversation I was having with my family was, “What gives me the best opportunity to win next year?” When I looked at the teams, it came down to some very good teams. But I thought that one thing I admired about the Boston Celtics’ team was the coaching and just the way the players played together and were very selfless on the court.
On his first-round series against the Celtics:
I got kicked. It was the New York game maybe two weeks before the season was over. My ankle was extremely swollen – the left one – and to me when you suit up and you go out there. You’re telling your team and your followers that you’re ready to play. Whatever excuses you have should be kept in the locker room, so I chose not to talk about it because it didn’t really matter. I still felt like I could go out there and help the team, and unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. That’s just one of those things.
On filling in for Kendrick Perkins:
When he comes back, it’s his position to have. I’m just here to do my job. I’m not trying to step on anybody’s feet. I’m not trying to do anything to cause any issues. I’m here to win. That’s just really what it boils down to. There were a couple situations out there, where I talked to teams and I probably wouldn’t have wanted to back up anybody. But this situation is proven, and why come in and try to mess up something that’s already proven.
On the meniscus tear that cost him significant chunks of the
Obviously you guys know that we had some tough times out there away from basketball. I tore my meniscus. I felt like the team was struggling so bad and the city needed something positive and I continued to play on my meniscus. I played on my meniscus for two years and it gradually got worse and I ended up having surgery and tried to get back quickly and it didn’t work out very well.
Talking to friend and former teammate Rasheed Wallace:
I’m actually going to see him before I get out of town. He had a lot of great things to say about the organization. That was kind of the selling point too. Him coming in and him actually being here for a year and understanding the situation, the scenario, the chemistry.I shot him a text and told him to come back one more year. He didn’t respond.